Pan Grilled Spiced Pineapple


I love pineapple in any form. Sweet, juicy, delicious, it is one of the many nutritious tropical fruits. Pineapples are packed with vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. It is also rich in fiber and  and is low in fat and cholesterol too.

Apart from munching on the exotic ripe pineapple one can always indulge in the grilled version. I love to flavor it with minimal spices and toss in dark rum to jazz it up.

A perfect desert after a sumptuous meal or in breakfast or maybe as an evening snack. You can toss the grilled pineapple in a salsa or a salad too.

The trick is to pick up a fragrant, ripe golden color pineapple.  If the fruit is just a little soft to touch then that is what you are looking for. Anything green is under ripe and spotty browns are over ripe.

Now that we have picked the right fruit, lay it on a chopping board and cut off both the ends. Make it stand and cut the skin in strips. Once the fruit is skinned, remove the eyes and dice it in circles or make wedges. It is up to you whether you want to remove the core or not. This time I did not but usually I do and make wedges instead of circles.

Now, to grill the fruit you can either use the traditional outdoor grill or oven grill and grill for 2-3 minutes or till the grill marks appear and both sides are nicely browned or use a non stick pan if you don’t not have the other.

 

Ingredients

Fresh Ripe Pineapple Slices – 6

Organic Honey –  3 table-spoon

Cinnamon – I/4 teaspoon

Lemon zest – I/4 teaspoon

Lemon Juice – 2-3 tbsp

Dark Rum (Old Monk) – 4 table-spoon (Optional)

Black Pepper powder – as desired

Red chili powder – as desired

Method 

Prepare  the fruit as described above and collect all the ingredients at one place

Take honey in a mixing bowl, add cinnamon and other spices. Add lemon juice and dark rum to it and mix. Place the pineapple slices or wedges  in it so they are fully covered with the marinade.

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Pineapple in Marinade

Heat the grill or oven (Preheat the grill at 400 degree Fahrenheit ). I used a non stick pan here. Heat the pan and glaze it with a little olive oil. Arrange the pineapple slices once the pan is hot. Keep the flame at low- medium as the slices will tend to burn easily as the honey caramelizes.

If you are using grill or oven arrange the pieces on grill tray and close the lid. Check  in sometime and if  both sides have a gorgeous deep golden brown tan,  remove in a serving plate.

grill in a pan

This is how it should look from both sides when grilling  in a pan.

Do not throw the remaining marinade , brush it on the top of grilled slices.

Once done, arranged the slices in a serving plate. Serve hot as it is or with vanilla ice-cream or frozen yogurt.

Variations 

Tip 1– You can use brown sugar, maple syrup, golden syrup or if you are adventurous then toss the pieces in marmalade with a little salt sprinkled over them  instead of honey and it will blow your mind. I hate chocolate syrup with it but folks do use that too. (Too overpowering for me. Kills the natural sensuousness of the fruit)   🙂

You can top up the grilled pineapple with Vanilla ice cream and dulce deleche for a quick dessert.

Tip 2 –  Try using  fresh cracked black peppercorn and vodka instead of the above ingredients. It will tickle your senses like anything.  Trust me, there is nothing like a spiced up juicy sweet pineapple straight from the grill.

 Tip 3 –  You can also try just the salt and cayenne pepper too.  It rocks.

Tip 4 – Try just sugar and cinnamon for that quick treat.

Tip – 5 They go well in a margarita and on a Hawaiian Pizza.

Tip 6 –  Try using wooden skewers or chopsticks for each wedge /slice. Makes it easy to eat and looks neat on a party table.

Enjoy this tropical delight and let me know your experience.

Bon Appétit

Healthy Traditional Indigenous Indian Coolants


The  Indian Summer is at its peak with all the right ingredients including merciless sun, scorching winds which sap the energy out of  the body. Soaring temperatures diminish the want to eat and one longs for some chilled refreshing drink. In the days when  fizzy, carbonated drinks full of empty calories, artificial sweeteners, colours and synthetic flavors beckon you from every food mall, roadside shops and eateries our home is heaven for traditional nutritious summer coolers. Natural home-made drinks which not just keep the body cool but are also healthy.

Summer in our country is ferocious and most of the body fluid is lost in sweat. It is an age-old tradition to offer water with something sweet ( at our home peda or petha) to anyone who comes from outside. It helps to keep the person hydrated and the sugar gives instant energy.

All the summer coolants are region and season specific and can be divided into two categories – Dairy and fruit based. Some fruit based summer drinks are hibiscus and Rhododendron drinks. We have the most common Nimboo pani( shikanjee) , lassi( sweet and salted)( thick creamy whipped curd /, taken plain or with dash of sweet concentrate or blended with mango) , buttermilk, fruit smoothies, fruits crushes, kokam (fruit of a tropical evergreen tree (Garcinia indica) )  sherbet, thandai, sherbets made from local seasonal fruits like bael, phalsa, raw mango ( aam panna).  Tender coconut water and fresh fruit juices are also popular. Jal zeera is another summer favorite. All these drinks are rehydrant and prevent heat strokes and other summer maladies. Sattu drink ( sweet and salty) are again making a place for themselves.  Then there are very popular mixes of sugar and natural essences like rose, kevda, khas, and other sherbets made by infusing herbs and natural essences. These are a little high on sugar but still a popular choice.  Most of them have medicinal properties and good for summer.

Aam Panna made with tender boiled raw mango, water and sugar

The plan is to help the body stock up on essential vitamins and minerals.

raw mango pulp with spices, salt and sugar

raw mango pulp with spices, salt and sugar

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You can roast the mango on direct flame of stove or preheated oven at 200 degree for 30 min depending on the size of the mango. Wrap it in aluminium foil and place on the rack. to get gorgeous roasted mangoes. Add jaggery for a healthy drink. I use organic jagery granules or shakkar

Sattu ka ghol ( Sattu drink) 

Sultry day demands something cooling to give a boost to your energy levels. Sattu ghol is our own indigenous substitute for whey protein shake. Made of roasted channa ( gram) flour, this composition is one of the highest sources of vegetarian protein and a quality that is most easily absorbed by the body. Sattu is a special unique drink with a good source of natural fiber and carbohydrates and is made with scientific formula. Originally sattu was made from roasted powered chick peas but with time it has evolved and we can get many variants and mixes of pulses,legumes and cereals like barley, maize, wheat, rice, horse gram, oat etc in form of sattu. Sattu was originally known as Sat-Anaaj(seven cereals, millet and pulses). All across the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarpradesh , and Orissa Sattu is eaten daily in various forms. Sattu drinks can be sweet or salty according to the taste. Jaggery is used instead of refined sugar to make it more healthy.

Black Gram and Barley Sattu

I make it at home. There is a separate post on blog that you can look for.  Sattu has innumerable health benefits and has digestible dietary constituents of vital importance. It has high protein value and beneficial for diabetic patients. 

Sweet Barley and Chana Sattu drink

Packed with Protein, Calcium, Fiber, Iron and magnesium Chana Sattu is one of the healthiest things to have this summer. It is cooling to the system too. 60 grams (4 tbsp) of this roasted gram flour will give you 19.7 grams of high quality vegetarian protein that is absorbed easily in the body. Good for people with diabetes and for bone health, treating anemia etc. It aids fat and weight loss too.

Ingredients : 

Chana Sattu – 1 Tablespoon

Barley Sattu – 1 Tablespoon

Salt – as per taste

Roasted cumin seed powder – a pinch

Lemon Juice – To taste

Mint powder or crushed mint leaves – 1 few

One can add, grated raw mango, coriander , mint, etc. as per taste. One can also make with sweet with jaggery.

Method :  

In a glass add both sattus , salt, cumin powder and other ingredients. Add chilled water. Mix well.  Your healthy summer drink is ready to be savored.

You can also make it sweet by omitting onion, mint , lemon, salt  and adding shakkar (Fine jaggery powder and roasted cumin seed powder like I did in the earlier one).

 

Related Post 

Phalsa Sharbat 

Creative Recipes with Apple Cider


Apple Cider is one of the most loved drink all over the globe. Apple cider is not only delicious but also has great health benefits. It has natural antioxidant values and has vitamins C, E and beta-carotene (vitamin A), pectin and vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, Sulphur, iron, and fluorine which combines to protect against the cell damage that can lead to cancer and cardiovascular disorders. But the drink should be had in moderation to protect the liver.

It can be used creatively in any kind of alcoholic or non alcoholic drinks.
Here I share with you some of the wonderful recipes that can liven up the atmosphere of any get together and if you are drinking alone, there is nothing better than an Apple Cider delight.

1.
Lemony Cider

Apple Cider-120ml

Bacardi Rum-60ml

Sugar syrup- 10ml

Lime juice -10m

Crushed mint -A few leafs

Method:

In a cocktail shaker pour all the ingredients and shake well.

Pour in a high ball glass.

Serve with crushed mint on top.

2. Brainstorm (shooter)

Tequila- 45ml

Apple Cider-15ml

Put the ingredients in a shaker with lots of crushed ice.

Shake well and drain it into a shooter glass

Drink in one sip.

3. Punchy Cider

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Water

1 cup Sugar (or less, to taste)

3-4 inch sticks cinnamon

2 table spoon Whole Cloves

1/8 table spoon Salt

750 ml Burgundy or other red table wine

2 Cup Chilled cranberry cocktail

1 Bottle Chilled apple cider

Method:

In saucepan bring water, sugar, spices and salt to boil.

Simmer 10 minutes on low heat

Strain-out and discard the spices

Cool the syrup.

Combine spiced syrup with wine, cranberry juice cocktail and cider.

Pour into punch bowl.

Add ice and lemon slices. (Ice Thin lemon or lime slices)

Source: Calgary Herald Dec 15/93 from the collection of K. Deck

4. Spiced Apple Cider (32 drinks)

Ingredients:

3.5 fresh Apple Cider

1 teaspoon chai masala

Chai masala recipe:

Perfect freshly ground spices (masala) mix, like cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom and pepper.

Combine ingredients & simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve hot and use cinnamon sticks as stirrers. (Makes 32 drinks)

5. Hot apple cider (great for sour throat)

Ingredients:

1/4 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp honey

Method:

Add boiling hot water to mix it.

A little lime juice and stir.

Sip slowly.

The Fruit of Life : Pomegranate : Health Benefits


 

Richly colored and delicious, pomegranate with its sparkling ruby colored juicy berries and immense medicinal properties, has been a symbol of health, fertility and rebirth throughout history.

The fruit is rich Source of many Essential Nutrients, like antioxidants, natural phytoestrogens, citric acid, essential amino acids, vitamins B & C and Iron, along with many other powerful health boosters.

Health benefits

The seeds of the pomegranate are very nutritious. The juice is rich in medicinal properties. It helps keep up normal LDL cholesterol levels and supports normal cardiovascular health. It is highly useful in relieving the effects of menopause and as a support to healthy immune system. It helps in maintaining normal blood pressure levels and healthy joint function and is beneficial in maintaining oral/dental health. The juice of pomegranate is good for leprosy patients.

Pomegranate is a perfect thirst quencher and energy booster during fevers as it is full of sucrose and glucose. It helps in all kind of bilious conditions, uterine ulcers, urinary disorders, typhoid fever, gastric and asthmatic fevers, and reduces high blood pressure.

Mixed with clove/cinnamon it is an effective cure for acute bronchitis, sore throat. The Indians consider pomegranate juice as a longevity drug. It is also a great memory booster.

The deep red fruits are a good laxative, and known to soothing in stomach inflammation. It is a tonic for the heart. It tones up the functions of the liver and kidneys. The minerals in the juice help the liver to absorb vitamin A from the food.

The bark, the rind, the roots, the tender leaves and the seeds all are medically beneficial.

FOR HEALTHY BODY AND MIND

We can merge it in daily diet by using it creatively.

Turkish, Greek, Iranian, and Indian cuisines use pomegranate in their dishes. It has an extensive use in frontier cuisine.

BREAKFAST

A bowl of fresh pomegranate berries, a glass of rich red juice, muffins, seasonal fruit salad, mixed with cereals, or as syrup, pomegranate has many uses in breakfast.

LUNCH AND DINNER

Pomegranate mixed in curd as raita, and in rice preparations especially Biryanis is delicious. Prawns cooked in pomegranate juice to gives them a distinct flavor and taste. It gives an exotic flavor as a marinade for meats and chickens especially Kebabs. Cold soups are wonderful ways to use it the daily diet.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette is an alternative for normal vinegar. Anardana powder, a spice made with powdered seeds is used in Indian cooking.

DESERTS

Desserts like fruit cream, Burfi (Indian sweet), custard, muffins, cakes; tarts etc taste delicious with pomegranate.

Sherbet, jam, syrups, and dips are some more uses of pomegranate.

DRINKS

Punches, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks can be made with the juice. Grenadine syrup adds zest to many cocktails. Smoothies taste great with pomegranate juice.

A pomegranate a day keeps the ailments away. Have a pomegranate for a healthy life today

Summer Cocktails


Cocktail was given its name as a metaphor for a rooster heralding the morning. It was originally meant to be a morning beverage.

The lazy days and twilight hours of summertime are made for relaxation. What better way to unwind than with some fruity cocktails and turn your porch into a sunset paradise?

Summer time brings out the tipplers in many of us. The cocktail consumption rises with the temperature. It is the perfect time for the creative juices to mix with the alcohol and for spinning some cooling exotic wonders. Fresh ingredients with simple, straight-forward flavors and easy preparation are the keys to a perfect cocktail.

Here are some of my favorites.

1. Blue: A Red Drink Called Blue

Ingredients:

1 tbsp Whole blue berries

15ml Fresh lemon juice

Ty Ku Liqueur, an Asian inspired liqueur made with sake

30 ml Lemon liqueur

60 ml Pomegranate juice

Mixing Instructions:

In a tall glass, combine the blue berries and lemon juice.

Muddle the berries to extract the juice.

Add ice until the glass is half full, top with the remaining ingredients and stir.

Dark antioxidant pomegranate juice is good for health.

Enjoy!

2. Classic greens: A Summer Cooler

Ingredients:

30 ml Mint Liqueur

60 ml Vodka

7up / sprite-to top up

Mint leaves as garnish

Mixing Instructions:

In a tall glass full of ice cubes, pour 30ml of Mint Liqueur, vodka and top it up with 7 up / sprite.

Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

3. Humming Bird: Desert Cocktail

Ingredients:

1 ounce rum cream liqueur

1 ounce coffee flavored liqueur

1 ounce milk

1/2 ounce strawberry flavored syrup

1/2 banana

1 cup crushed ice

Mixing instructions:

In a blender, combine rum cream liqueur, Coffee liqueur, milk and strawberry syrup.

Add the banana and crushed ice. Blend until smooth.

Pour into glasses and serve.

4. The Fawn (This is for the kids. They would just freak out on this one)

Ingredients:

6 large strawberries

1 scoop of ice

1 oz. simple syrup

75 oz. fresh lemon juice

5 oz. fresh orange juice

5 oz. grape juice

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth in consistency.

Pour over the ice cubes in a highball glass. Garnish with circular “orange” candy.

Serve and relish.

5. Cucumber Cooler

Ingredients:

2 pieces of cucumber

5 mint leaves

30 ml Lychee fruit syrup

10 ml Ginger Ale and Sprite to top up

Dash of grenadine

Mixing Instructions:

Muddle together cucumber and mint leaves in a glass.

Add the Lychee fruit syrup, ginger ale and sprite and dash grenadine.

Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into glass.

Garnish with mint leaves and serve.

Cheers! Have fun and have a lovely summer time.